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X Chapter 1 X

Kikyo hugged Inuyasha tight.

"Wha--!" Inuyasha was shocked by her sudden embrace. He couldn't bring himself to push her away.

"Do you still remember the old days, Inuyasha?" She asked quietly.

Inuyasha closed his eyes. Memories came flooding back. The day when he first met her, the time when he caught her in the boat, and… her supposed "betrayal"….

His heart ached. A deep growl started to rise in his throat.

"Naraku… I'll get rid of him for you and avenge your death, I swear I will!"

"Not for me, Inuyasha. Not anymore." Kikyo said sadly.

Inuyasha was startled by her tone. "What do you mean, Kikyo?"

"Your heart is not with me, Inuyasha." Kikyo said plainly, her arms loosening a little, as if she was going to let go of him, but stopped. "You don't love me anymore."

"No… that… that isn't true." Inuyasha looked away. He still wasn't hugging her back.

"Kagome." Kikyo said. "Isn't that right?"

"No." Inuyasha muttered.

Kikyo decided not to pursue the issue. "Inuyasha… we nearly got married."

Inuyasha turned and looked at her. "Yes… we nearly did." His eyes softened.

His arms started to rise in midair. He wanted badly to return her hug, but something was stopping him.

"Give me a chance." Kikyo's voice was barely audible now. She leaned closer.

"We can start anew… We can get married. We can have a new life together; live a life we've always wanted to live…"

Inuyasha's mind was spinning. It all sounded very tempting. Sometimes he just wanted to get out of all these fighting and live a simple life, as a human. A human…

Something sounded in his ears.

Kikyo was coming close. Much too close for comfort.

"Kikyo!"

He pushed her away. "Why are you even thinking of all this? We should be searching for the Shikon Shards! We can't let Naraku collect them all!"
Kikyo looked hurt. The she looked away. "Do you really care?" She asked coldly.

"What?" Inuyasha asked. He was already flinching at Kikyo's cold tone.

"What's your purpose of collecting the shards and killing Naraku? To avenge me?"

"Y-Yeah… Of course."

Kikyo laughed.

"I am not that naïve. You want the jewel for yourself, to become a demon, don't you?"

"That…" Inuyasha was feeling very guilty. True, he'd wanted the jewel for himself to become a demon, but after finding out that Kikyo wasn't the one who'd betrayed him…and being forced to change into a demon several times before…

His mouth went dry. He couldn't get the words out.

"What have you got to say for yourself?" Kikyo asked, her eyes blazing with fury. She aimed an arrow at him.

"Wait!" Inuyasha looked at the arrow and felt terrified for the first time in his life.

"Why, Kikyo? You've become a completely changed person! You never used to be like that!"

Kikyo laughed again. "I'm sorry, Inuyasha."

She shot an arrow at him. He dodged.

"Don't… Please!" Inuyasha yelped as he dodged another arrow.

"You want me to stop?" Kikyo yelled. "Then attack me! ATTACK ME!"

More arrows shot through the air. Some hit the rocks that collapsed instantly.

"NO!" Inuyasha yelled.

"ATTACK ME! OR ELSE YOU'LL END UP LIKE THOSE ROCKS OVER THERE!" Kikyo screamed.

The words rang in his ears. Inuyasha snarled and clawed at her.

Kikyo dodged his claws in the nick of time, but Inuyasha seized that chance to pin her down.

He put his claws at her throat. He could kill her anytime.

Kikyo was not struggling. Her eyes were closed, as if she'd been expecting all this. "Kill me." She said tonelessly.

"N-No." Inuyasha's voice was choked. His claws quivered in the midair.

"Kill me." Kikyo repeated. "I wasn't really alive anyway… if you want me to be free than kill me."

"No!" Inuyasha gasped. His heart was racing. "There has to be another way!"

Kikyo took that chance to throw him off and aimed at arrow at his heart. "Then I'll kill you."

Inuyasha was on the ground. "No." He whispered. "Please, Kikyo, I'm begging you!"